Sebastian Vettel has become the youngest triple champion in F1 history after a dramatic season finale at Interlagos delivered all the drama expected – and plenty more besides.
Vettel was forced to battle back from an accident on the opening lap when he was tipped into a spin by the Williams of Bruno Senna and dropped to the rear of the field, with his Red Bull sustaining damage to the rear left in the process.
However, in constantly changing weather conditions as a multitude of showers hit the Sao Paulo circuit, Vettel did what was required to secure enough points to put himself out of reach of Fernando Alonso.
Alonso himself produced a stunning start when the lights went out at the start to get ahead of Vettel and he ran ahead of the German throughout – at times putting himself into a position to clinch the title only to see Vettel respond.
When the chequered flag dropped with the field behind the Safety Car after an accident for Paul di Resta in the final sector, Alonso crossed the line in second spot, but with Vettel in sixth, it was the Red Bull driver who clinched the crown.
The race itself was won by Jenson Button for McLaren after he took full advantage of a clash between team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg while the pair diced for the lead.
Hulkenberg had led for much of the opening half of the race as he and Button stayed out on dry tyres while the remainder of the field went to intermediates, with the pair losing their advantage over the field when the Safety Car was deployed for debris on the circuit.
Further down the grid, Vitaly Petrov secured a crucial eleventh place finish for Caterham which was enough to ensure that the team was able to reclaim tenth in the constructors' championship from Marussia.
Full race report is now available.
Full race results also available.